Functional furniture for your vacation home

One of my top principles as an interior designer is ensuring that we maximize the function of your home. My goal is to harmonize the creative elements, such as color and fabric, with the practical elements, like storage and lighting. Because your vacation home is a place where seasonal or intermittent visits are paid, it is even more so essential to consider practical pieces, accessories and design elements. Read on for some functional furniture ideas that can enhance your home away from home’s usefulness.

Ottoman on wheels

Rather than a coffee table for your living room our outdoor seating area, consider an ottoman on wheels. Bonus points if you opt of for a piece that has interior storage. Upholstered ottomans can serve as footrests, table tops (with the help of a tray) and even an extra seat in a pinch. Casters make movability a breeze, perfect if you’re looking to scoot things out of the way to pull out your sleep sofa. You can never have too much storage either, especially if you’re shopping for your patio or deck, a storage ottoman is a great place to tuck away pool towels or toys.

{Wicker is the perfect outdoor material, weather proof and it can withstand some wear and tear. From:  Mission Hills Furniture .}

{Wicker is the perfect outdoor material, weather proof and it can withstand some wear and tear. From: Mission Hills Furniture.}

Nesting tables

When on the hunt for end tables, consider a set of nesting tables. They make for a functional furniture choice, indoor or out, especially if you’re the type that likes to entertain. Whether it’s a family trip down the ocean (hon!) or a neighborhood get-together to kick off the summer season, nesting tables can offer ample tabletop space for bites or beverages. Like Matryoshka dolls, stack them when not in use and scatter about when needed.

{The mosaic tile top of these nesting tables catch the sunlight, reminiscent of the ocean waves. From:  Pier 1 Imports .}

{The mosaic tile top of these nesting tables catch the sunlight, reminiscent of the ocean waves. From: Pier 1 Imports.}

Locker cabinet

With a vacation home, especially one that houses children, comes accouterments like beach towels, pool toys and oversized tote bags to schlep such items to and fro. A locker cabinet, or entryway/mudroom storage system, provides an accessible and central home-base for your outdoor endeavors’ accessories and small personal items. Suit up for the beach with your conveniently stowed coverup and sun hat before heading out the door, or hang up your pool key in a foolproof, unforgettable location. Functional furniture at its finest!

{Bins, hooks and cubbies, oh my! From:  Pottery Barn .}

{Bins, hooks and cubbies, oh my! From: Pottery Barn.}

Sleeper chair

A vacation home is often a place where the more the merrier. Those “more” need a place to rest their heads at the end of a sun-soaked day and a sleeper chair is an excellent way to accommodate a houseful of guests. Sleeper chairs take the concept and design of a sleep sofa and apply it to an oversized, or extra wide, arm chair with a twin mattress. A piece of functional furniture such as this work in homes of any size, but they are an especially excellent option for smaller spaces like a condo or cottage.

{Oversized chair by day, twin bed sleeper by night. From:  Rooms To Go .}

{Oversized chair by day, twin bed sleeper by night. From: Rooms To Go.}

Opting for functional furniture can help to solve some of your design dilemmas such as adding necessary storage, improving your home’s organization or being prepared for any occasion. I encourage you to share pictures of your vacation home’s functional furniture on my Facebook page, visit our “Beach house” Pinterest board for inspiration and comment below with other ideas you’ve put to good use!

April Pardoe